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  (Source: girvin.com)
Apple is not part of the settlement talks with DOJ

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) could sue Apple this week over allegations regarding raised prices of e-books via an agency sales model.

Last December, the European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into whether five international e-book publishers had been partaking in anticompetitive practices with the help of Apple and its e-book store iBooks. The five e-book publishers include Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing France), Harper Collins (News Corp., U.S.A.), Simon & Schuster (CBS Corp., U.S.A.), Penguin (Pearson Group, United Kingdom) and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck (owner of inter alia Macmillan, Germany).

Traditionally, publishers sell physical books to retailers for about half of the cover price, which is considered a wholesale model. Retailers then had the ability to sell those books to customers for a lower price if they wanted to.

But when e-books came along, this model was challenged. Amazon started selling best sellers for as low as $9.99 to encourage its Kindle e-reader sales. Publishers were not happy.

Apple then came along with iBooks, and publishers began to worry that it would take over the book industry the way Apple's iTunes took over the music industry, where customers would choose to purchase cheap, digital books instead of physical books.

However, Apple struck a deal with publishers in 2010. An agency model was implemented, where publishers were allowed to set the price of a book and Apple would take a 30 percent cut. The only restriction was that publishers were not allowed to let rivals sell the same book at a lower price.

This model helped Apple because its original iPad launch occurred in 2010, which was coupled with iBooks. To assure a successful launch of the device, DOJ believes Apple cut the agency model deal with publishers, which turned out to be an anticompetitive move.

After the European Commission opened an investigation of this agreement, DOJ climbed aboard as well. After looking further into the situation, DOJ threatened Apple and the five publishers with a lawsuit just last month for allegedly conspiring to raise prices, which violates federal antitrust laws.

Now, DOJ may sue Apple as soon as today while still working to reach a potential settlement with the five publishers, according to Reuters. Nothing has been set in stone, but DOJ does plan to pursue Apple.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Who is best for books?
By tayb on 4/11/2012 1:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
I could care less about real books. They are a complete waste of energy, resources, and money from the production stage all the way to sitting on the shelves at a retail store. The waste is even more egregious and excessive when you realize that it could ALL be avoided by distributing the same book digitally.

A world of e-books only is by far the most desirable. Publishers go from a "must have" to a "nice to have" and allows independent authors to create, price, and sell their content without having to worry about the risk involved with printing and selling millions of copies. The risk is simply the time spent writing the book. THAT is a book world I want to be a part of.

Not some world where publishers collude on prices to keep everything expensive so they can avoid the wave of the future and appease a vocal minority who are stuck in the 90s.


RE: Who is best for books?
By Tony Swash on 4/11/2012 3:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I could care less about real books. They are a complete waste of energy, resources, and money from the production stage all the way to sitting on the shelves at a retail store. The waste is even more egregious and excessive when you realize that it could ALL be avoided by distributing the same book digitally.


You have no soul!! Just kidding. I love books and love them as physical objects. I used to run a business way back when that designed, typeset and printed books, I still love the smell of the ink on the page. Varnished full color on a matt 135gsm high quality stock - ahh heaven. I like buying books from Amazon, cheap and easy, but there is nothing like spending an hour or two just browsing the shelves in a good and preferably slightly quirky bookshop discovering all sorts of stuff you never knew existed.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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